The Rookery Cornice

Firm News and Recent Decisions

Illinois Supreme Court Sides With TDR

Unanimous Opinion Strikes Down Pension Law

May 8, 2015

In a unanimous opinion, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that a 2013 pension reform law is unconstitutional.  TDR represented a group of retired teachers in successfully challenging the law.

TDR Founding Member Gino DiVito, who argued the case before the Court, said, “We are delighted that today’s Supreme Court opinion recognizes and ensures the pension rights of State employees, as required by our Constitution.  We trust that the General Assembly will address the State’s fiscal difficulties, in a manner consistent with the constitution, and in a way that is fair to all the citizens of Illinois.”

TDR Partner John Fitzgerald also assisted in this matter.

TDR Partner Gino DiVito Argues Pension Case Before Illinois Supreme Court

"Pension Legislation is Unconstitutional"

March 13, 2015

On March 11, 2015, TDR Founding Partner Gino DiVito argued before the Illinois Supreme Court in Heaton v. Quinn, a landmark case in which the Court will decide whether pension reduction legislation enacted in 2013 is unconstitutional.  TDR, representing retired teachers and both active and retired school administrators in the pension litigation, argued that the 2013 law that cuts pension benefits violates the State’s constitution.

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin summarized DiVito’s arguments as “the pension clause is so clear and unambiguous that all the constitutional convention voter’s guide had to say was that it was ‘new and self-explanatory.’  Drafters of the constitution wanted to not only create a legally enforceable contractual relationship for every public employee who receives a pension but also to ensure that the pension rights were guaranteed, which created the very language at issue”.

Further, according to the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald, DiVito stated, "This is a case about a constitutional provision, one that is explicit, clear and unambiguous, and it is subject to no stated exception.  The state has not cited a single case where the reserve sovereign powers, the police powers, have been held to override a constitutional provision, and that's because there is no such case."

DiVito, a retired justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, has been a noted authority on the Pension Protection Clause (Article XIII, section 5) of the Illinois Constitution for years, and he often argues cases of great significance before the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Appellate Court.  For more information about TDR’s appellate practice, please click here.

12 TDR Attorneys Recognized as Super Lawyers or Rising Stars

Karina DeHayes and Mark Horwitch Receive Special Recognition

January 14, 2015

SuperLawyers® Magazine has recognized nearly three-fourths of TDR partners and one associate for their high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

In addition,  Karina DeHayes was named one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers and Mark Horwitch was named one of the Top 100 Illinois Lawyers.

Congratulations to:


  • Karina Zabicki DeHayes
  • Gino L. DiVito
  • Mark H. Horwitch
  • Timothy A. Hudson *
  • Jeffrey Patton
  • Michael I Rothstein
  • Caesar A. Tabet

Rising Stars

  • John J. Barber
  • Michael J. Grant
  • Brian C. Haussmann
  • Daniel I. Konieczny
  • Brent Ryan (A) *

(A) - Associate

* - First time honoree in this category

The list of Illinois SuperLawyers includes no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state.  Rising Star is a distinction reserved for the top 2.5% of Illinois lawyers who are under 40 or in practice for 10 years or fewer.

TDR Wins Appellate Victory for Recording Company in Copyright Action

January 9, 2015

On January 8, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed in its entirety the district court’s Order dismissing with prejudice all copyright infringement and other federal claims in connection with a lawsuit filed against a U.S. recording company in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiff had alleged that the recording company and its artists improperly used the plaintiff’s purportedly protected materials. The plaintiff’s lawsuit asserted 14 counts alleging numerous copyright infringement claims, a claim under the Visual Artists Rights Act, and a host of state law claims. TDR attorney Timothy Hudson represented the recording company before the district and appellate courts.

TDR Wins Appellate Victory for BorgWarner Inc.

December 11, 2014

TDR won an important appellate victory in the Illinois Appellate Court for its client BorgWarner Inc.  The appellate court’s opinion affirms the circuit court’s decision that BorgWarner was entitled to receive certain documents from its indemnitees notwithstanding their claim that the attorney-client privilege blocked disclosure. 

The December 9th edition of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin quoted TDR partner Caesar A. Tabet as saying: “It really is an important case that involves a cover-up of serious contamination that has resulted in contract indemnity liability in excess of $150 million.  The appellate court’s decision is a critically important decision involving contract indemnity.”

Victory in Pension Lawsuit

December 2, 2014

On November 21, 2014, Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Belz issued an order (linked) finding Public Act 98-0599, a pension reduction law that was enacted in December 2013, unconstitutional and void in its entirety.  Working with attorneys representing various other plaintiff groups, TDR partners Gino L. DiVito, John M. Fitzgerald, Brian C. Haussmann, and John J. Barber, and TDR associate Uri B. Abt successfully represented retired Illinois teachers and retired and active Illinois school administrators in that litigation.  “This is precisely the type of complex constitutional litigation in which our firm excels,” said TDR name partner Gino L. DiVito, “and we couldn’t be happier with the result.”

TDR partner John Fitzgerald was quoted in Crain’s Chicago Business on November 21, 2014 as observing that Judge Belz’s decision was “exactly the result that drafters of the Illinois constitution intended: that people could rely on their pensions without fear of them being reduced.”

Because the Attorney General has initiated an appeal of the trial court’s ruling to the Illinois Supreme Court, TDR will continue to represent its clients in this case before the Illinois Supreme Court. 

TDR Victorious in Professional Liability Matter

October 24, 2014

Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC obtained a favorable judgment for our client, a prominent international law firm, in an action alleging professional liability with respect to patent litigation.  The court dismissed, with prejudice, all claims against our client, and entered an order barring all contribution claims.

This case was originally filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  The District Court dismissed the case on our motion for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.  The case was then refiled in the Circuit Court of Cook County, which entered judgment in our favor.

TDR attorneys Jack Barber, John Fitzgerald, Brent Ryan, and Uri Abt participated in this effort.

MIchael Rothstein Elected Treasurer of Federal Bar Association, Chicago Chapter

October 22, 2014

Michael Rothstein has been elected Treasurer of the Federal Bar Association’s Chicago chapter.  With over 16,000 attorneys and 1,200 federal judges in its national ranks, the Federal Bar Association is the leading bar association focusing on attorneys who practice in the federal courts.  The FBA’s Chicago chapter works closely with the judges of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to provide the Chapter’s members with a wide variety of educational and professional programs relevant to federal practice.

Michael Rothstein Nominated to Fellow of the American Bar Foundation

September 17, 2014

Michael Rothstein has been nominated to become a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.  Membership in The Fellows is limited to less than one percent of the lawyers admitted to practice in each jurisdiction of the United States and to a small percentage of international lawyers.

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